Afternoon Panel

The afternoon started with the speakers for the afternoon breakout sessions giving brief overviews/introductions of their presentations in Krutch auditorium. The theme of the afternoon panel was “Innovative Services & Tools.”

Mary Linn Bergstrom & Susan Shepherd spoke on “Undergraduates in a Science & Engineering Library.”

7 core traits of “millennials” (those born between 1980 and 1995):
achieving, specialness, confidence, team-oriented, conventional, sheltered, pressured

Millennial spaces in the library — should be comfortable, relaxed; celebrate technology; invite users to communicate

These qualities are reflected in the physical spaces at the UCSD S&E library; features there include:

  • fully technologcially enabled
  • wireless with wired tables
  • 743 seats & large proportion are wired
  • students come with own equipment
  • relaxed food & drink policy
  • first-come, first-served study room
  • furniture moved around all the time

Social activities @ USCD S&E:

  • toys, checkers, chess, puzzles, Jenga
  • Great Campus Race (ala Amazing Race) developed by engineering librarian
  • Pictures with Albert Einstein cutout on his birthday

Examples of science-focused activities:

  • display student work
  • junkyard derby
  • Steelbridge competition (reconstructed in library)
  • peer to peer learning
  • exhibits of women faculty
  • lectures on cutting edge technology
  • chameleon jumpsuit (from “Legacy of Time” game) designed by UCSD alum displayed in lobby


Next up: Char Booth talking about “Informing Innovation with Local User Research”

Char’s report — Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies — is available at:
her blog:

Char emphasized the importance of using “locally informed, culturally contextual research” about users to inform choices about technology and services.

We as librarians have an “us vs them” mentality with users; and we tend to inform ourselves about users’ perceptions by reading national and international reports. e.g., this one (cover superimposed with image of evil child). This is wrong.

“Library 2.0” is a forced attempt to bring us and them together, and it’s created a one-size-fits-all approach to technology environments.

We have to ask, “what motivates users to integrate libraries into their personal learning environment?” Surveying users locally can give you this information. Char’s survey (see links above) is a starting point for this, but it’s important to customize/modify the survey to your own institution.

Choose technology that gets you somewhere — technology with demonstrated value. “Technolust” is a poor way to use resources; through research you can decide what you want to understand about your local user community. Understanding local patron cultures is what makes your library valuable — an environmental scan is a scalable means of investigating needs and perceptions.


Finally, Jeff Rosen and Thoreau previewed their presentation, “Gaining a Foothold in Theirspace.”

The major expansion and renovation of the Leonard library at SFSU has been a catalyst to see how things can be done differently. The “library annex” being used while construction is underway is a “tent” with concrete floor 60 foot ceilings. It’s been popular with the students.

Emphasis on small changes with big impacts — not trying to invent next cool tool; strategically making changes to put services in line with what students want.

Services: — library is now on its 3rd iteration of virtual reference. Trying to stay open 24 hours — a lot of students want to study in middle of the night  — peak hours now are 11-midnight. Laptop checkout, more ebooks, more full-text databases.

When looking at implementation of tech issues, asking “how we can build better collaboration between geeks and book freaks?”

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